Contributed by: Duncan Fremlin, Broker, RE/MAX
One of the reasons Cabbagetown is such a great place to live is the abundance of respected residents — role models who demonstrate what it means to be leaders in their community. These are successful men and women, the kind of people who could teach a few life lessons in our high schools.
I think of this because I recently ran across a Globe and Mail article by Jim Gray that I’d filed away. The heading is “Marks of a leader: cultivating relationships”.
The author described a meeting he had with the managing partner of an international law firm. At the end of the meeting, the lawyer walked his guest to the elevator, rode down to the front door of the office building to escort him out. The author went on to say, after many many years, “his courtesy continues to make an impression on me”.
Mr. Gray writes that “the higher you go in any organization of value, the better the interpersonal skills of those you meet. And that’s important because no one achieves great success, and maintains it, without the help of others”.
Grade nine students might guffaw at this but there’s a good chance that these few words of wisdom would resonate sometime in the future. More to the point, a discussion in the classroom with their peers would be a great opportunity to explore this topic and figure out what success might mean to them.
Gray lists four things leaders do to make them who they are:
1. Leaders Give Back. This means they volunteer and contribute. Simple but powerful.
2. Leaders Express Appreciation. This can be a simple thank you or a special phone call to congratulate someone on a promotion.
3. Leaders Stay Connected. They answer their e-mails. Phone calls seldom go unacknowledged. The author writes “the lower you go down the corporate food chain, the more e-mails go unanswered. By failing to respond, recipients are nevertheless sending a message – about themselves.”
4. Leaders Create Supporters. I’ve heard these supporters described as “advocates”. These people are out there singing your praises and in my business (real estate), these fine people are gold and quite literally, the finest human beings who have ever lived.
I’ll add one more to this list. Leaders are never late for appointments. It just does not happen.
Duncan Fremlin, Broker, RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. www.morethanahome.ca 416-716-3257